More feedback on my ethics dilemma:
Evil Gavin says: Nooooo don't do it!
Unfortunately Gavin is my son, so I have to think about setting him a good example and boring stuff like that....
John Toomey says:
When Christians celebrate Christmas, they celebrate the birth of Christ, not the fact that the pagan holiday Saturnalia was replaced by a Christian holiday in order that the enthusiasm which already existed could be harnessed (versus attempting to generate new enthusiasm).
When today's artists rave of a work of a past master, they revere its execution, conception, impact on audiences, etc. -- not necessarily the religious ideals which it represents.
When you use Tarot cards to play a game, you're celebrating the joy of a good design, not an archaic system of beliefs.
Thanks John, I like your phrase "celebrating the joy of a good design" - that's how I feel about some of the classics eg 1830 or Civilizaton.
Tom Synge says:
Your ethical dilemma is an interesting one. My initial reaction is strongly against the purchase. In the same way, I would not suggest that you go out and buy a ouija board even if it is a central feature of determining actions in Spiel des Jahres 2002!
My principal concerns are:
1 That other people might see you, a practising Christian, using a deck of tarot cards and draw incorrect conclusions, possibly along the lines of "oh, so tarot cards are fine then" or "Hmm, Peter is losing it".
2 That your family and friends could be influenced by your decision to use them - although your son is presumably old enough to make his own decisions.
3 That this is a subtle form of temptation via something that is close to your heart. Although you can say now that you are going in with eyes open, it could lead further.
I am not familiar with the game, but could you not make up a set of alternative cards with the same values and distribution?
Thanks a lot for that Tom. Actually the rules for Zarcana include a section about adapting a standard deck, so maybe this is the sensible route to go. I'm also thinking of ordering the $5 paper Icehouse set before I commit to the £30 plastic set.
It's great to get all this feedback - I did wonder if anyone was actually reading my weblog!